Monday, October 28, 2013

It's all about black


Here we go again. 
Winter is just around the corner - even if in Bologna it looks more like the end of April rather than the end of October with 24 degrees today... 
It's time to get our head around the trendiest colors of the season... and since we don't all have time to read the latest fashion trends in Elle or Vogue, I'd like to tell/remind you what's going to be hot for the months to come in terms of what colors to wear.

Oooooooooopppsssssss... That could easily be me. Or you, or millions of supermodels trapped into a "Macaronshapedbody"... (see my post It's all about Paris). 
Pink, red and white are beautiful colors but ehm... it's not my fault if there is a superior force that makes me reject all colors after exactly ten minutes of wearing them. 
It is very vicious. It would be much better not liking colors. I would't buy dresses, tops or skirts to leave them in my already exploding wardrobe. 

This is what usually happens:
1) I buy the top. Whenever I buy something colorful I'm very excited because every time I  think I'm going to actually wear it.
2) It's the morning and I have to go to work. I try my top on and suddenly feel the need to hide myself. It's uncomfortable but I stay strong and I keep getting ready.
3) I take the top off. I put on a black top and (immediately) I feel the world is a better place.

Besides, BLACK is so classy and chic, isn't it? Look at Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's...
And of course, black can be casual and understated. Why would you need to look at the colors of the new seasons when you already have everything you need in your wardrobe???

Black cheats and lies for you as no other color would do. You can trust Mr Black for every occasion and when you're out on a date HE can also be your best friend boosting your confidence and making you feel perfect. 

It is indeed just a matter of perception (and personal look). Knowing that blue, all the shades of burgundy, dark green and a black & white combination are going to be the trendiest colors for the months to come doesn't change what we think when it comes to choose the perfect outfit for ourselves: Black is the new Black.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's all about Paris


Here I am, back from a long awaited weekend in Paris.
Saint-Germain, Place de la Concorde, Rue de la Paix, Opéra, Chatelet... I must have been French in a previous life. My friend Gaelle thinks that too.

But since every journey is a learning process, this is what I've learnt this time:

1) Never go to Paris when you are on a diet
2) Never go to Paris with your parents and their impossible friends
3) Never go to Paris when you still don't know how much you owe the Tax Office

1) Never go to Paris when you are on a diet:

You can't fight it. As soon as you set foot into Paris, life takes the shape of a "Macaron".

That's tricky if you are on a diet and you have an objective to achieve (my objective being the fact that I rather look like a super skinny Parisian girl than look like a Macaron myself)...
Suddenly you see the crunchy and soft little pieces of heaven everywhere... shop windows are full of them... car wheels are licorice flavored Macarons and the moon is a lime flavored one...  They hunt you and you can't hide.
The only solution is going to La Durée, the most magical place and buy them. Ehm...actually buy one or two tops because you have to spend 15.75€ to get six so, unless you leave home with a "Macarons budget" I suggest to buy just one.
Unfortunately, I don't just love La Durée Macarons, I LOVE their boxes too so in order to have more of those, I'm ready to buy some cook books that I'll never use... or some hot chocolate powder that I shouldn't really keep at home... but ohhhhhhhh.... they come into such lovely boxes (and they don't sell the boxes separately - I've already asked...).

The thing is... Macarons are just the tip of the iceberg... what about fois gras, sablés au beurre, cheese, profiteroles, éclairs aux chocolat, croissants... ???

There is always time to get back on track, at least I want to believe that... but there is one question that comes to mind: how come Parisian girls are so skinny??? I've lived in Paris for a long time and that's still a mystery to me.  Dear Readers, if any of you knows the answer PLEASE post a comment. It will be like discovering one of the best kept secrets of the modern era.

2) Never go to Paris with your parents and their impossible friends:
If you think you know picky and demanding people, please come and join me for the next horrific trip with my parents' friends and you'll know you can reach new limits.
Hold on... what next trip?? There won't be a next trip because next time I'm going to Paris (or anywhere else for that matter) I'll mention it just before leaving for the airport. No, actually I'll tell people when I'm already on the plane. You never know. Some people can pack really fast. 

Obviously, I'm a very ZEN person or I would have probably taken them to the Conciergerie (the prison used during the French Revolution) to be executed on the Guillotine
How much can you take of "What is this?" "Where is that?" What does it means?" Where are we going?" "At what time are we having breakfast?" "What's the next stop?" "What's the plan?" 
The Guillotine has been dismissed in the early Eighties but I'm positive French authorities would have made an exception for my lovely travel companions.

3) Never go to Paris when you still don't know how much you owe the Tax Office:
You might remember (see the post "It's all about taxes") that I'm waiting to know if I have to pay the enormous bill I received from the French Tax Office - being nominated for the "2014 Tax Punishment Award" - or if I still have a chance of buying the most coveted Céline "Luggage" handbag...

Walking around the Parisian boutiques is a torture, the temptation is too strong and you might end up doing the only "reasonable" thing to IT!!!

I'm soooo much stronger than I think, remember??

I didn't buy it also because it would have been difficult to walk into the Céline boutique with a group of six annoying adults, an allergictoshopping husband and a three year old boy who doesn't really understand Phoebe Philo's genius (and I guess he never will).

So I'm safe for now since I'm back in a place where I can only dream of my "Luggage"... the closest one to buy being in Milan! I'll be waiting for better days when my accountant will finally pick up the phone and let me know....
In the meantime...

That I'll do. Always and forever.

Baci Baci. xx

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's all about babies


You want them, you look for them, you wait for them, you save money for them...and in the end they arrive. And your life is changed forever.

I’m not talking about the latest trendy accessories: they're never enough.  
I’m talking about babies: even one can be more than enough...

Actually, with the right accessory your life could change forever:
1)      A Birkin would make you so fashionable even if you're wearing a track suit (not that I would ever wear one)
2)     A Birkin would make you so broke that you’d stay broke for a very long time
That is life changing indeed...

What people will never tell you is that everything of the life you used to love is about to be flushed away because you were brave and crazy enough to take a leap of faith and do it.

Now the fun begins...and it never ends because you cannot turn the “babytoddlerkid” switch off or hide him away in the wardrobe as you could do with your fabulous Birkin (in fact..why would you ever hide your Birkin in the wardrobe?). 
I've looked many times for a switch but I've never found one. I've asked around me. Nobody seems to have found one. 

Obviously there are times when a kid will be the only reason on earth you smile but this is not what we’re talking about here.

We are revealing the unimaginable. The truth behind the curtains. The shocking reality after you've put away the cute "Janie and Jack" outfits.

Sometimes the frustration reaches a level that you have the feeling an alien has taken over your identity.
When you're waiting for your kid to fall asleep and you sit next to him on the the dark...and an hour has gone by...and the floor is cold...and even when you finally put a rug it's still cold...and you want your life back because every night is the same and you know you will never have time for yourself...and suddenly you just think: 

When you're on the phone with your your best friend trying to have a conversation and his screams are so loud you cannot hear your voice...and you'd be ready to trade five minutes of peace for a trip to the US just to see the Fire Engines duty-free shopping little detour at Bloomingsdale's...  

When you've prepared a nice dinner and you can't sit still for more than thirty seconds because you are requested to do in order: get some, the juice with the not peach, pear......turn the tv on, no not cartoonito...Fireman Sam, not this one, the one with the giant snowball...

The point is... the battle is never ending and you will probably always loose.
Every time you'll buy a Vionnet or a Céline handbag you'll feel guilty thinking you've just spent some money destined to his education... but we all have to make compromises and I'm happy to feel the guilt if I can get a Céline out of it.

After all... nobody is perfect, my handbags are.

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's all about traffic


THE most painful time of my day is for sure coming home from work.

You might think that I'm crazy since leaving the office shouldn't be a bad time at all but it becomes the worst experience ever when it means being systematically stuck in traffic for an hour or even more. 
Hold on...many of you could think it's quite normal...but I'm not talking about Paris, London or LA. 
Hey, I'm talking about BO-LO-GNA in Italy, not even 400.000 people, a beautiful city (see traffic should not be such an issue. Unfortunately IT IS and no Bologna Mayor has ever been able to do anything about it. 

When I'm on the ring road around Bologna (it's called the Tangenziale) and I'm stuck and upset, waiting to move my car for just 10 meters and then stop again, I'm soooo sympathetic with Michael Douglas in "Falling Down" when he has a nervous breakdown going to work in terrible traffic... 

Obviously I don't own a gun... but why are all these people on the road at the same time as me?? Are we all contestants of a survival reality show where the winner is the one who won't start kicking the car next to his?
And why as soon as we're on the move there's a guy that comes so close that it looks like he wants to come in the back of my car to have a chat?? 

I'msoangryI'msoangryI'msoangryI'msoangryI'msoangryI'msoangryI'msoangryI'msoangryI'msoangryI'msoangryI'msoangry..... Uhm... It's probably better that I don't own a gun.

The funny thing is that all of these people probably feel the same...sometimes we look at each other and we make funny faces becoming companions in our misery!

If you experience the same kind of misery as I do, you know that the ideas you have whilst you’re stuck are never the best, right?
Would you like to redecorate your bedroom? Don’t choose the colour yet…you might be influenced by the frustration and go for an acid green that would hurt your eyes and hunt you in your sleep.
Are you planning your next vacation? Wait before buying the plane tickets…as a reaction to the crowd on the road you could end up in a Tibetan Monastery even if your original idea was going to LA…

Make a list of the positive things that you like about the place you live because in theory they should outnumber the negative. If this is not the case….

Look for your next place to live :)

On my side I use the long time I have to think...
What do I think???
I think that if I was the President of Italy, I would merge the ring road outside of Bologna with the motorway so the traffic wouldn't be an issue anymore...
I would try to reduce the debt and create employment but MOST OF ALL, if I was the President of Italy I would be best friends with Michelle (Obama) and we'd go shopping together. 

You need to be at least 50 to become President. Apart from that, I would be perfectly capable to go shopping with Michelle and tell her what's the IT bag of the season....
Sometimes the ideas you have whilst you are stuck in traffic are truly great. 

Baci Baci. xx

Saturday, October 12, 2013

It's all about Ikea


Today I had a transcendent experience. 
I went to IKEA. 

Going to Ikea means having a list of 4-5 things to buy and coming out of the shop with at least 20 things in the trolley. 
Things that most of the time, the second you set foot at home will shockingly appear for what they really are: pointless.
But they are the opposite while you're in the shop, aren't they? Everything looks so useful and so cheap that you can't leave without buying them. 
You magically convince yourself that with the rug "Gundlandst" or the lamp "Vastram" your house will look a completely different place...and for such a small investment!!!

Why is that?? Do they disperse in the air some kind of Swedish essential oil that make us think we all live in an Ikea catalog? 

Today I decided to try something new and I entered the shop repeating like a mantra: 


I walked fast through the fake bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms (but ohhhh they looked so cozy - sure, they were tiny but a family of ten people would be so happy there!!!)
Then I realized... I was gradually abandoning my new resolution and in less than 5 minutes two tea towels, a fake plant, some plastic boxes, a pack of Swedish biscuits had found their way into my Ikea bag...

OK, OK, time to get serious about it!

I started walking so fast through the last part of the shop I even forgot to look for a couple of things that were on my list! 
BUT, the most important thing is that I finally avoided buying candles, cushions or glasses (they are a terrible temptation, so many kinds and so always end up having a box of glasses in the trolley).

Mission accomplished!! I'm very proud of myself...I'm the living proof that it is possible to go to Ikea and buy only what you really need. 

Of course I had to take home the two tea towels, the fake plant, the plastic boxes, and the pack of Swedish biscuits...................

Baci Baci. xx

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's all about butterflies


Last night I was looking at some nice pics that my newlywed friend Giorgia posted on FB and I was thinking she looked so happy and in love...

.....before we all drown in an ocean of little hearts and honey let me get straight to the point. 
It made me think about love, happiness, and that particular feeling that we call having “butterflies in my stomach”.
I've had butterflies in my stomach before as I'm sure all of you had but the question is...where did the freaking little insects go?? 

I came up with the only three possible conclusions:

1) They got lost in the jungle that is a human stomach (being a butterfly and not an internal medicine surgeon, it must be tricky to know where you are)

2) They ran out of batteries (why didn't anyone tell me they were battery operated???)

3) They found an unconventional way out… (the most dreadful theory - I don't even want to think about it)

The thing is: they are gone, vanished, retired maybe, but nowhere to be found.

And suddenly...panic... Can I have them back please?? Seriously…did you know they had an expiration date? 

Well, I can find anything on the net, I'm sure I can spot them. Or maybe they only sell them in the US… and they won't ship to Italy!

I guess there’s no way out of it or actually there is but it’d mean start dating again. 
Ta daaaaaa…here you are, that’s the solution! Oh I forgot, if you’re married with kids that wouldn't be a very good idea… well, at least not for your husband and kids!

For those like me who can’t start all over again I suggest to redirect your energy into other forms of butterflies… like the ones you can feel in your stomach when you proudly step out of a Chanel boutique with a nice shopping bag… 
(Priceless feeling - the handbag does have a price unfortunately) 

And if you can’t afford to buy a Chanel handbag, no worries, it’s probably just a matter of time J

Baci Baci. xx

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

It's all about Fashionland


When I started working for YOOX last year in March, I knew I was setting foot in the dangerous realm of Fashionland...
You might have visited this intriguing and charming place where everything shines and sparkles and the girls are all pretty (and incredibly skinny - that's obviously a pain..).

Unlike the first time I visited Fashionland (when I worked for La Perla a life ago) I now have a life threatening condition called "handbagaddicitonIhavetobuythemhelp!!" which is a state of mind where you can't stop yourself from buying expensive handbags.
I will describe the symptoms so you can quickly realize if you have it too:

Phase 1: THE HUNT
I can spend hours looking for the best deal possible. When I have a handbag or generally something on my mind,  I can't stay put, I just keep looking and looking as if the destiny of the planet depended on it. My husband Andrew says I'm crazy... I think I'm a picky and thorough customer looking for an amazing deal! :)))

Once I set eyes on my prey,  I look for the item everywhere on the net to compare prices, colors... and then I come back to it because I start telling myself that IT IS such a shame to miss it that I should really buy it...
And in just a couple of clicks...ooooppppsss...there..done. Bought it!!!

This is the most painful phase because I suddenly start babbling with people around me that it was the best deal was a once in a lifetime was crazy to miss it for that price...and I actually manage to convince myself. I think it's a kind of magic!

THE CURE for this odd condition has yet to be found.
In the meantime, I do suggest the following:

...possibly to a very secluded place with no shops, no markets, no internet...everything is a source of temptation!!
On another note, Mrs Westwood suggests the following:

But what happens when you buy less, you choose well and yet you still spend a lot of money in the process?? 
Could Mrs. Westwood clarify that please? 

Baci Baci. xxx